Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Environmental Science Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Many of the classes of phytochemicals in herbal medicine are finding therapeutic use. In particular, cancer patients are reported to benefit from treatment with herbal medicine and survivability in many cases is significantly enhanced. Recent studies showed the anti-oxidative and superoxide scavenging activities of individual active components of herbal medicine for their inhibitory activities on lipid peroxidation and anti-cancer properties. Individual herbal medicines show antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. In addition to sharing many therapeutic activities, herbal medicine is also used in nutrient supplement for anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity. Numerous in vitro studies of herbal medicine on different cell lines and in vivo study of herbal medicine have been reported. However, the mechanisms of actions remain unclear. This review aims to give an overview on the recent development of herbal medicine in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The report covers the possible mechanism of action of some of the herbal medicine. In addition, the common properties of herbal medicine are described. Finally, the study sheds lights on the pharmacological applications of herbal medicine in the treatment of cancer and its potential use as anti-cancer agents.